U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are set to talk by phone on Friday, according to the Romney campaign.
President Obama, who was too busy to meet with foreign leaders, including Netanyahu, when they gathered in New York on Monday, is also scheduled to talk by phone with Netanyahu, a major Middle East ally, according to a NewsDay report.
Mr. Obama instead appeared on The View, a liberal U.S. television talk show led by Barbara Walters, as world leaders gathered in New York a day before giving their speeches this week.
Netanyahu, speaking to the United Nations on Thursday, said the world must prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Israel and the U.S. have experienced shaky relations that were highlighted recently when Obama refused to meet personally with Netanyahu over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Pundits say Netanyahu is likely to wait until after the upcoming American elections before launching air strikes meant to knock out Iran’s nuclear facilities because there is currently no support for such an operation coming from the White House.
Romney has noted the chilled relationship between the U.S. and Israel under Obama’s administration and is challenging the President’s ability to conduct successful foreign relations.
For his part, Obama is playing defense after numerous negative appraisals of his foreign policy by pundits and opponents.
Mr. Obama has raised eyebrows in a usually friendly U.S. media because he personally refuses to use the word “terrorist attack” to describe a recent terrorist attack on the country’s Libyan embassy that saw the U.S. envoy and his staff killed.
White House spokespersons eventually relented and used the phrase after claiming for over a week the attack was a spontaneous protest. Mr. Obama continues to use other terms when discussing the planned assault.